January 22, 2016
The Russian Church is against the idea of including Kosovo in UNESCO.
"We are aware of the active promotion of UNESCO's interests in Kosovo, the illegally separated Serbian territory. Such proposals continue despite the current norms of international law, which approve the integrity of Serbia, its right, according to the UNESCO documents, to the protection of the great Orthodox holy places of Kosovo," Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said in an interview with the Serb newspaper Vecherniye Vedomosti, a translation of which was posted on the website of DECR.
The metropolitan said the global community has witnessed encroachments on the holy places of this territory "perpetrated by radical activists with the connivance of the local authorities."
"We believe a decision by the UNESCO member countries to give the right to protect unique monuments to those who have turned a blind eye to vandals' barbaric actions for many years would be absolutely unacceptable. I believe that Kosovo membership in UNESCO, an organization created to protect the culture of mankind, in the current situation of a total threat to the Orthodox holy places of the territory could become a mistake whose consequences would be irreparable," he said.